New York Jets

New York Jets: Muhammad Wilkerson's Pro Bowl Snub Is AFC East's Most Baffling

Muhammad Wilkerson's been snubbed; now, he just wants a hug.
Muhammad Wilkerson's been snubbed; now, he just wants a hug.Elsa/Getty Images
Erik FrenzSenior Writer IDecember 27, 2012

Is there another defensive end more deserving than the New York Jets' Muhammad Wilkerson who didn't make the Pro Bowl?

I don't know, but he's certainly more deserving than Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil.

Consider first what each has done individually this year. 

Dumervil's sack numbers jump off the page—he has over twice as many as Wilkerson—but all things considered (sacks, hits, pressures and batted passes), he only disrupted pass plays 2.2 percent more frequently than Wilkerson.

Not only that, but while Dumervil rushes the passer on 55.8 percent of his snaps (512 out of 917, according to ProFootballFocus.com), Wilkerson rushes the passer on 50.9 percent of his snaps (445 out of 873, via PFF).

Also consider whom each plays alongside. Dumervil's Broncos rank fifth in scoring, third in yards, first in sacks (48), third against the run (3.6 YPA) and near the top of the league in several other defensive categories. Wilkerson's solid play has been bogged down at times by a defensive front seven that lacks young talent outside himself and rookie Quinton Coples.

Wilkerson has also been playing next to a banged-up nose tackle Sione Pouha at times, but he's risen to that challenge with a whopping 52 stops—nearly twice as many as Dumervil.

Also, Pro Bowl voting only takes into account the title of defensive end, without accounting for the style of each defensive end. Wilkerson plays in a 3-4 defense, where he is asked to be much more versatile and doesn't get the "glory stats" that Dumervil gets as a 4-3 defensive end, where his primary job is to rush the passer.

If team success and glamour stats are your basis for determining individual performance, I think Dumervil is your guy (and I also think your logic deserves scrutiny). If you're looking for a more well-rounded candidate in the defensive front seven, Wilkerson is the right choice.

 

Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.

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